RANDOM TESTS conducted by the Public Health Ministry’s Medical Sciences Department last week showed that the proportion of BA.4/BA.5 Omicron subvariant cases has risen to 72.3% in Bangkok, TV Channel 7 said today (July 11)
Dr. Supakit Sirilak, this department’s head, said of the 570 random samples tested 280 were found to be to be infected BA.4/BA.5 Omicron mutants with 29 being foreigners.
The tests clearly showed that the proportion of the BA.4/BA.4 cases in Bangkok had jumped to 72.3% but in the provinces the increase was more gradual reaching 34.7%.
The proportion of BA.4/BA.5 cases among those mildly infected in Bangkok was 71.95% but among those seriously ill with pneumonia requiring ventilation or having died it was 77%.
On the other hand in the provinces 33.01% of the patients mildly ill were infected with BA.4/BA.5 but this rose to 44.67% among those severely ill or having died.
This then means that BA.4/BA.5 has initially overtaken BA.2 as the dominant subvariants in this country.
Dr. Supakit said where the global situation is concerned, the World Health Organisation (WHO) disclosed that BA.5 has now spread to 83 countries with the proportion increasing from 37% to 52% while the infection rate of BA.4 has stayed steady. It has not issued a warning because it does not appear they cause more severe illness than other versions of the virus but they do spread faster and affect the immune system.
“The data from genetic decoding of samples shows that BA.4/BA.5 tend to be more common and abundant in Bangkok, with this infection found more in severe cases than among those with general symptoms
“However additional samples have to be collected to reconfirm these findings,” he said.
The public is advised to continue with personal protection measures, that is wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, maintaining social distance and getting vaccinated.
Top: A representative image of the Omicron variant. Photo: Health.clevelandclinic.org
Front Page: Bangkok cityscape. Photo: Drmtoiber (CC BY 2.0)